Home Adventure 5 Must-Have Items for Your Next Hiking Adventure

5 Must-Have Items for Your Next Hiking Adventure

A group of hikers with backpacks and trekking poles navigating rocky terrain on a sunny day with lush green trees and a mountainous backdrop.

Adventures in Good Company (AGC) is a pioneering global tour company offering unique and challenging experiences for women. 100% female-owned and operated, AGC knows a thing or two about hiking, and the most important thing is preparation. Whether you’re on a hiking tour around the Grand Canyon with AGC or simply heading out for a weekend of hiking with friends, you need to be able to trust your equipment.

Packing the right gear can make or break a hiking trip. While you expect a little bit of discomfort while roughing it, you’ll certainly notice the difference between specialist outdoor bedding and something you buy at a bargain store. So, we’ve asked some of the Adventures in Good Company experts to give us their tips for the 5 must-have items for your next hiking adventure.

Hiking adventure basics

First, before we delve too deeply into some of our top picks for hiking gear, let’s take a step back and consider the basics. There are a few items that you should never be without when hiking. It’s important to remember that hiking anywhere in the wilderness comes with risks, and it’s best to always be prepared. Naturally, your clothing requirements might change depending on whether you’re hiking in cooler or warmer climates. But here are some of the crucial items you shouldn’t go hiking without:

  • Quality hiking boots
  • Appropriate clothing for warm and cool conditions
  • A torch
  • First aid kit
  • Tent
  • Matches or flint
  • A compass
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat
  • A watch
  • Toilet paper
  • Hat, sunscreen and sunglasses

Of course, there are several other requirements depending on how long you intend to go camping. Food supplies and utensils can be selected based on the length of your trip. The list above is certainly not exhaustive, but these are the bare basics you should consider.

Let’s look at our Adventures in Good Company expert tips for the best items to take on your next adventure.

Best hiking pants

The clothing you choose for your trip will play a huge role in maintaining your comfort levels. We asked Trisha Bartels, Program Director with AGC, about her preference for hiking pants, and there was a clear winner. Trisha prefers Arc’teryx Gamma Pants, lauding the durability and comfort in particular. Acknowledging that these pants aren’t the cheapest on the market, Trisha says the investment is worth it because they should last for years to come. She’s backpacked, hiked and camped in these pants for days and they’ve withstood everything thrown at them so far.

The best features are the lightweight softshell material, wind and DWR protection, but the mid-waist rise really caught Trisha’s attention. “As most women’s brands have various, low-rise or uncomfortable fits, these pants have a lined mid-rise and synching belt to adjust to your fit. They will also withstand multi-adventures with generous durability and stretch.”

Best backpacking tents

When buying a backpacking or hiking tent, you want something that’s going to keep you sheltered without weighing you down too much. AGC’s lightweight backpacking expert offers the following selections.

For ultra-lightweight, Jan recommends either the NEMO Hornet OSMO Ultralight 2P Tent or Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2 Solution-Dyed Tent. Both tip the scales at 2 pounds and 8 ounces, offering excellent water resistance.  

If you can carry a little more weight, the 3-pound, 4-ounce MSR Hubba Hubba 2 Tent is another great option. Like the Nemo Hornet, the MSR Hubba Bubba 2 features taped seams and waterproof coating.

Best hiking socks

Do you remember the scene in Forrest Gump where Gary Sinise’s Lieutenant Dan character implores his soldiers to look after their feet? Well, it’s for good reason. When hiking, moving around on foot is practically your only option, so it’s crucial you look after your feet with a high-quality pair of hiking socks.

Dori Nix, Marketing & Communications Director at AGC, had great things to say about both the REI and Darn Tough brands, as both provide great cushioning and are made from Merino wool. Dori prefers a quarter-length sock as it provides support for taller hiking boots. Interestingly, Dori likes to pair some lightweight hiking socks with Injini liners. With advanced technology that draws sweat away, Dori loves this combo.

Best backpacking sleeping pads

You’re not going to get much sleep if you’re not comfortable in your tent. We asked Julie from Adventures in Good Company for her pick, and it was the Thermarest Neoair. It’s a super-light option that also keeps you warm. Depending on your required comfort levels, Julie suggests considering a non-inflatable sleeping pad against the ground, with your inflatable sleeping pad on top for extra warmth.

Best trekking poles

Every good hiker needs a reliable pair of trekking poles. Kelly Kimble, CEO of AGC, prefers Montem trekking poles. She loves the lightweight, telescoping design that takes up very little space. Kelly loves the quick-release flip locks for adjustments and also the comfortable padded wrist straps.

If you’re interested in embracing the outdoors, always remember to plan accordingly and stay safe. Invest in reliable, durable equipment that stands up to the elements, and always let someone know where you’ll be.